Inspired by some of the fantastic burgers served at restaurants all around New York City, we’ve been experimenting all summer long on our own topping our burgers with stinky Roquefort cheese, making juicy patties from salmon fillets, and even slicing fresh avocados as a side in an effort to make these decadent meals seem healthier. Now, on the last weekend of the fading summer, we shifted the focus from the burger to its companions, fries and drink.
Cashing in on the genius of Chef April Bloomfield of The Breslin, we made Bloomfield’s famed thrice-cooked “chips”-what those of us stateside call French fries. Thanks to being boiled and then fried, twice, these fries are crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside. Unlike traditional chips, these retain their crispiness, giving them a satisfying potato chip-like crunch when bitten into. We also accompanied them with a homemade cumin mayonnaise, as they are served at The Breslin.
Once our fries were piping hot and our burger’s brioche buns were taking their trip under the broiler, we popped the cork on the evening’s beverage. Foregoing the traditional burger pairing of beer, we chowed down on our burgers accompanied by a bottle of Silver Oak Alexander Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that brings with it a subtle flavor of dark cherries and currants with plenty of oak and spice. The wine was full-bodied enough to contend with both the burger’s sharp cheddar and the saltiness of the chips, while maintaining a juicy, easily drinkable style.
We hope this will be the first of many hearty meals this fall. (And many bottles of red wine, too, if we’re lucky.)
Adapted from April Bloomfield’s The Breslin
Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith are the authors of Smith & Ratliff, a New York City-based lifestyle blog. They write about food, cocktails, art, style and life in New York City. Follow them on Twitter: @smithratliff.
4 large baking potatoes, washed but not peeled
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
1. Cut the potatoes into 1/3"-thick steak fries and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain the potatoes, add them to the pot and boil just until tender, about 5 minutes. Carefully drain the potatoes and transfer them to a paper towel-lined rack to cool. Refrigerate until chilled. This step can be done up to 24 hours in advance.
2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2" of oil to 250 degrees. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Working in batches, fry the potatoes just until they begin to brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to the rack and let cool.
3. Once all of the potatoes have been fried once, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the potatoes again, in batches, until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes per batch. Drain the fries on a paper towel-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and serve.